Winter Emergency Kit

Or: Oh, the weather outside is weather…

Okay, let’s get real…we both know I’m a subpar/inconsistent blogger, but we also know you don’t want to read crappy “OH GOD I JUST NEED TO WRITE SOMETHING” content. I THINK THIS IS A GOOD COMPROMISE.


It’s the first (official) day of winter, and though California winters are not a big deal in the least, I want to equip my home/vehicle with necessary emergency accoutrements for the winter season. Lord knows we need the snow/rain/sleet/precipitation/anything? So, if our rain dances, prayers and pleas continue to be answered and we get more weather, I won’t complain….but I will protect myself against the potentiality of it, dammit.

Since, I make regular ski trips to the nearby slopes, so this kit will probably just live in my car in perpetuity (or until I dig out all the good snacks…whichever comes first).


Without further ado…here are the contents of my homespun winter vehicle emergency kit…


  • Snow Chains (not pictured above)
  • 2 cans of pop-top chili
  • A couple of Clif Bars
  • A huge tub of trail mix
  • Bottled water (not pictured)
  • Flashlight (mine is battery free-charges by being wound)
  • Multi-tool (mine isn’t Leatherman brand, but obviously that’s a perfect fit)
  • Extra socks, mittens/gloves, hats, jacket, pants (anything that you can fit)
  • Waterproof matches
  • Hand & Toe Warmers
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tissues/Toilet Paper
  • Cleaning Wipes


So, there’s really no super intense step by step here, other than to say, that there’s a fine line between preparing for an emergency and completely over preparing…and I’m pretty sure I did the latter. BUT in my mind – better safe than sorry!


Most of this stuff I got at Target, or I already had (first aid kits, snow chains, giant tub). Total, we spent about $60, but that included $30 on a pre-packed vehicle kit specifically (Made by AAA – jumper cables, reflectors, tire gauge, etc – not pictured.)

As I mentioned earlier, I drive up to snowy areas quite a bit, which is the reason I carry snow-prep stuff, but depending on where you live (flooding issues, wind, etc) you can definitely adjust the contents to suit your needs!

So, I also keep non-clumping clay based kitty litter in the trunk of my car. IT’S NOT THAT WEIRD, I SWEAR. I did a bit of research, because a couple of years ago my car got stuck in snow, and 5 of my lovely friends and I who were on the trip together had to dig it out. It might have helped if we had something to throw down that would have given the tires some traction! Of course, salt is overall better as it will both melt snow AND create traction, but there are some environmental impacts associated with winter salt usage  – here’s more info so you don’t think I’m completely crazy.


Are you excited for winter? How do you prepare yourself/house/vehicle for inclement weather?

Stay safe — happy holidays!




G.A.W. Sips: Blended Watermelon Gimlet

Or: It’s still hot, and summer produce is for blending with ice and spirits.

photo 3


In fact, it’s gotten hotter, if possible.


Anyways, those little “personal” sized watermelons were on sale this week at the grocery store, and I’ve taken it upon myself to share my blending obsession with the universe and simultaneously will try anything to keep from melting. So here’s what I concocted!

photo 1

  • 1/2 of a “personal” or mini watermelon
  • 1 lemon (I know two are shown, this was before I tried the recipe, so hush).
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of fruit juice (in this iteration I used Raspberry Lemonade, but I used mango juice the second time I made it, for more of a tropical taste. It’s all up to you!)
  • 1 tray of ice
  • Optional (to make it a gimlet): Gin – I used Bombay Saphire because it’s my favorite and it’s also what I had on hand. So there’s that. You could also use tequila or vodka! For this recipe I used three shots (Made a huge pitcher), but honestly, use however much you deem best depending on if you like your drinks more or less strong. BUT drink responsibly, if you choose to gimlet-ify this blend!

Okay, so I chopped up half of the watermelon and shoved it all into my blender (it’s worth noting that I had to actually pour some of the blended watermelon juice out of the blender to be able to add gin and ice, so compress and reduce portions as needed).

photo 2 Squeezed in my lemon juice…

photo 4

Added the fruit juice – like I said, this time was Raspberry Lemonade, but any lemonade, berry or tropical based fruit juice would probably be very good!

photo 3

If you’re making it sans booze, go ahead and add ice, then blend and enjoy at this point…however if you’re here for the party…


Add in your favorite gin! Other potential spirits, if you’re not into gin like myself, include tequila or vodka. I’d stay away from rum, but that’s mostly because I generally despise it. So, gin it is!

Anyways, add in your ice, if you can make the space, then blend and prepare to witness magic.

photo 1

Is it not glorious?

These are SUCH a delicious treat, with or without the alcohol. A and I tried these first this past weekend, and then enjoyed them again with O in celebration of their completion of a full first year in graduate school (congratulations, gentleman).


Try this recipe out and let me know if you discover any great tricks with other spirits!



Merry Blog-Mas!


Is this not the most wonderful time of the year? I mean, check out my pleasantly plump, yet totally fashionable Christmas tree (complete with Cowboy Grandpa Boots standing guard). Decorating the tree this year with A (his first real tree EVER) was such a fun experience, and the fresh pine sent in my apartment is totally worth the 45 minutes it took to shove this little tree in the backseat of my Jetta.

Apart from celebrating that oh-so-fabulous feeling of having completed my Christmas shopping a full TWO weeks  ago (hold your applause, please) I’ve been spending a lot of time consulting the American culinary oracle…and by that I mean..the Joy of Cooking.Nothing gets you in the mood for the holidays like cracking open the 75th Anniversary edition of the Joy of Cooking and baking yourself into a sugar induced coma.



Which I assure you, I did.

Even Gwen got to join in on the fun with these crunchy cat treats {recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker}. It’s really a true testament to how much I love my cat that I a) baked her home made treats, and b) willingly made my apartment smell like tuna {later combined with peanut butter dog treat smell}.

My mom and I spend the evening of Christmas Eve every year baking delicious cookies, and singing Christmas tunes {with help from our dear Irish friend, Mr. Bailey’s}.

And while we will be tempted to keep this sugary goodness to ourselves, what better to give our wonderful neighbors this year, than the gift of fresh baked holiday cheer! I’ve also baked up some peanut butter doggie bones to share with their pups and my mom’s fluffy companion, Jake {recipe courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker}.


Check out my instagram to follow along with the baking madness tomorrow!!

Happy Holidays from G.A.W!